I admit we were naive. We didn’t quite get when computers entered their classrooms and their bedrooms (“the teacher said I have to do it online mum!”), that the Net – while holding incredible opportunities for learning – also opened up a whole new nefarious world of shallows and shoals, of depths and demons, that were nothing less than incredibly dangerous to their still developing and hugely vulnerable hearts and minds. Worst of all was that we couldn’t anticipate how just swiftly and silently the Net allowed them to depart to places unknown where we could not protect them.
Like every parent engaged in the struggle to juggle in this increasingly noisy, sometimes overwhelmingly complex world, I’m trying my best with what I know. But I maintain that maximum personal engagement, most particularly in those early years, has to be the best way -– and my concern is that putting a screen in front of them too often with the stuff that merely distracts for hours on end, rather than as a genuine teaching tool, is the easy way out. Our kids are spending too much time in front of screens, and too little time reading, talking, exploring, being active, or just engaged in good old-fashioned quiet time simply staring out the window day-dreaming. And the evidence is pouring in.
– Lisa Wilkinson